Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

+1 (903) 271-3040

I stop time for the people who wish to be transformed by my fabulous Hair and Makeup Artist and by my camera and ultimately by the fine art prints that come with every package purchased. Are you ready to create your dream shoot?

3902.jpg

Bella Sol Blog

BELLA SOL PORTRAITS BLOG

He doesn't want underwear for his Birthday. The best gift is you. In print.

Bella Sol Portraits

T is a giving soul. And she wanted to give her man something special for his birthday. "Just one epic shot," she said.

And she wanted the wet look. After our fellow hairdresser slicked her hair back, a fellow photographer and makeup artist Sharon Dilden made her look like a goddess of the lake. 

Water Boudoir by Bella Sol Portraits

This is the one she had printed to a 16x24 in metallic to frame and put on their bedroom wall. His reaction when I asked how he liked it? No words, just a very enthusiastic nod of his head, a lift of the eyebrows and sly smile.  

Go to Instagram to see another shot from the shoot. 

 

Better Your Relationship: the Best Gift is You

Bella Sol Portraits

I've had an increase in Boudoir Sessions for Anniversary gifts recently. Why? Because we are visual creatures and it is a gift that is treasured. It makes me think of when photos were brand new and how we carried a picture of a loved one in our pocket or handbag because it's so heartwarming.

Prints seem to be an antiquated thing, with all the digitalness goings on, but it's not... we've just kind of put putting them on paper on the back burner. Think of how you feel when you're holding an album or looking at prints of your loved ones.  

I create products that couples adore. In fact, I've done a shoot myself. Just before Valentine's Day, I was shooting my friend so that she could give her man prints of her. She suggested I do some shots of myself on the same day. I printed some 5x7's and bought some cute balloons.  Make sure they're big enough to support the weight of the images and also make sure each one has the clothes pin to attach them with. Or ask if you can have some like I did. I attached my images to the balloons at the height that would be in his face when he walked in the door. He LOVED that I did that for him. He still has them hanging in the bedroom. He also still has a calendar that I made for him years ago in his shop drawer. 

If you have no idea what you want to do for your shoot, no worries. Designing your session is actually very easy! We meet somewhere over gelato or lunch and I get to know you and your significant other's likes and I answer all your questions... like "what do I wear?"

Wear what you feel beautiful in and if there's items that he particularly loves you in, bring it! Perhaps every time you wear those cutoffs he gets that look in his eyes? We'll work them in!

2376.jpg

Or, does nothing else matter, there could be an Earthquake going on and he wouldn't know it when you wear one of his shirts?

His Shirt Boudoir

You don't have to own a large selection of lingerie... you don't even have to own any at all! Even day to day clothing can work.  You tell me what you have and I plan all the rest. Your outfit can be as simple as a bra and panties...

What to Wear for Your Boudoir Session

or a babydoll nightie...

What to Wear For Your Boudoir Session 2

Perhaps you've had your eye on a necklace you love but just don't know what on Earth you'd wear it for? "Jack, draw me in ONLY the necklace."

Pearl Necklace Boudoir

Or bring nothing at all and wear a skirt, or dress and/or corset from my garment rack.

5840BW-4SS+USM.jpg
bareback boudoir
Booty Shot Boudoir

 

Here's some ideas for giving the gift of Boudoir...

  • Bridal: To gift your fiancé on or before your wedding Day. For example, say you purchase my middle package of 10 images. On each day of the 10 days before your wedding, put a print with a sweet nothing (or something naughty!) on it somewhere where he'll find it.... and so on and so on until hopefully you can make it to your Honeymoon Suite!
  • Or you could do the 12 days of Christmas with prints, albums, books, etc. There's even puzzles, vintage viewfinders and leather-bound albums that you could have "Hey Stud" or anything you want printed on!
  • Anniversary/Birthday/Valentine's Day/Day that ends in Y Gifts to show how much you adore them.
  • Self Care. We should all celebrate Life events. Why not commemorate the milestones a woman's body goes through throughout a lifetime? Having babies... beating cancer... meeting a fitness goal... overcoming a traumatic event such as divorce. It's SO empowering.
  • To spice things up. You can make all kinds of fun games with your images, like a scavenger hunt with clues on the back of prints strategically placed around your place. Or, you could send them a digital image on their phone while they're working or away. Little black book's come in beautiful packaging, of which they could tuck away in their briefcase, backpack or desk. 
  • Make it fun and even more memorable... make your session themed... Pinup, Cosplay, Dudoir (oh yes, it's a thing!) Vintage, Glamour, Steampunk, Rennaisance, Fine Art Nude in Nature.

Are you ready to plan your Session? And if you need help keeping it a secret to not ruin the surprise, I can help with that too! Such as, to explain the fantastic makeup you'll have on, Sephora has makeover days... wink wink. But truthfully, my professional hair and makeup artist will be the one pampering you. You'll look so good for your session that he may want to take you out on the town after your shoot!  

Boudoir Makeover
chaise boudoir

One Day, your Children will Look for Photos of You

Bella Sol Portraits

Your babies will be having their own babies before you know it. 1988 seems like a few years ago, not decades! Now I'm looking through boxes of photos searching for pictures of her and I together. No wonder she cut me off from practicing portraits on her! I was so busy capturing her life, that I barely exist in those boxes.

 My baby, day after my 20th birthday, 1988. It's the only one they took and it looks like a double exposure!

My baby, day after my 20th birthday, 1988. It's the only one they took and it looks like a double exposure!

 My baby's baby's Ultrasound. They've improved a LOT. As has my portraiture!

My baby's baby's Ultrasound. They've improved a LOT. As has my portraiture!

It seems like yesterday it was back in the film days that I was taking piles and piles of snapshots of Danielle growing up. I started doing portraits on her when she was 10, but WHY didn't I think to get in the shot with her? So now I'm looking for studio portraits of her and I and I have one. ONE.

 I remember having to hold her hands because she wouldn't stay still... lol.

I remember having to hold her hands because she wouldn't stay still... lol.

She'll have LOADS of photos of herself when I'm gone but nowhere near as many of us together.  Of me and my Mom... none. A couple of photo booth shots...

 I'm holding a goldfish on the right. I believe these were taken at Sherden Mall?

I'm holding a goldfish on the right. I believe these were taken at Sherden Mall?

... and one my Grandma snapped of one of our perpetual matching outfits that Mama had made...

 

Here I am a Photographer preaching about the importance of having professional portraits done with our children and I have scant. But that's why I'm trying to change that! Don't let that happen to you! It's so common to have portraits of our children because we want those photos for ourselves but what about what our children will want when we're gone? They will look for photos of you! Do you exist in yours?  

How many photos do you have of you with your Mom? Do they portray who you are? Do they capture the love between you? It's time for Mom to exist in photographs. And what better day than Mother's Day?

A session with me will be designed with wardrobe consultation and posing and a fun day to capture the love between you and your family. Mom's and daughters get their hair and makeup done and get access to my wardrobe! My beautiful tulle skirts fit all. 

How do you think CJ and Dior feel every time they look at their portraits? Imagine it's you and your loved one in the picture. How does it make you feel? Adored? Important? We all want that.

I was blown away by what I captured between these two! Do you think this is something that will be passed down to Dior when her Mom is gone? Absolutely!  She will treasure these prints for generations. Will the photos you cherish that are stored on your phone last for generations?

Click on the Contact tab on the left to book a free consultation! Sessions can be gifted to a Mom you would like to honor. But hurry... there's very little time left to book to be able to get your prints by Mother's Day!

#existinphotos

Why You Should Print Your Portraits

Bella Sol Portraits

80's hair and Olan Mills. I'm glad the 80's hair has faded but I miss the portraits on the walls! How did digitals become the norm? Yes it's popular to have digitals for your social media and screensaver, but where do they go from there?  Your friends forget your photo you uploaded as soon as they like it or love.  You know what I think was cool? When folks used to have their portrait painted then ornately framed and proudly hung on their wall. Why did this stop?  Maybe it's that our walls have been replaced with mass-produced-pastel-cow-head-faux-paintings and prints of famous prints and our attention has been steered away from family pride and into our phones and computer screens. 

Where are your portraits? On a USB in a drawer somewhere? When's the last time you had any professionally done? If you have children, what is this saying to them? A study showed that when kiddos see a photo of them in their home, it boosts their self-esteem... gives them a sense of belonging, knowing where they come from and that they are loved. 

What is filling your walls? Something unique and full of heartfelt pride or something practically every other Ikea shopper has? Let's bring our portraits back into the real world! 

I know you would like to be photographed with. Who with? Your children? Your pet? Your spouse/significant other/life partner? Your Mom? Your Dad? Your car? Your favorite tree? Or maybe you want to be pampered and made to feel like a model after a makeover! In this hectic world, you deserve it! How do you want to be remembered? What if your favorite social media deletes your page? It happens! You've lost everything, unless you can locate that USB. Which is still unreliable. The photos from my last iPhone magically disappeared. Gone forever. 

#printyourphotos. My prints are rated archival to last at least 100 years. It can last even longer if preserved in a frame or folio box, both of which I offer as products. When you're gone, they will be treasured by your loved ones. Think about it... you've lost someone you love, right? What do you have left of them? Photos at least, I hope.

Click on Contact at the top of this page to book a free consultation to discuss how you would like to be photographed and go over wardrobe and pricing. You have nothing to lose! Questions? Ask me!  My job is to take the best portrait of you that you've ever seen. Whether or not you purchase is entirely up to you.

#existinphotos

What we Take With us

Bella Sol Portraits

Tornado sirens blaring, phone and charger in hand, I grabbed my camera bag, my purse and my cup of tea and hunkered down in the closet on top of my husbands dirty clothes. 

A friend posted that she had hummus while she watched the storm and I thought, hummus, yes hummus is a good thing to have in the closet, with tea while the tornado passes. Next time I think I'll build a fort in there. 

Fellow tornado-dodgers, what do you take with you to your hunker down place? 

My DIY Canvas Backdrop

Bella Sol Portraits

Through a lot of research… watching Sue Bryce’s DIY canvas backdrop video, watching YouTube tutorials, googling DIY canvas backdrop images and picking my auto body painter (a painter's a painter's a painter, right? But let's not mention the time he tried to paint my toenails) husband’s brain before concluding what colors to use, I started my DIY backdrop adventure.

I was a little overwhelmed on deciding what method to use and what colors to buy since I couldn’t find it spelled out for me step by step anywhere! And I really really wanted to use the colors Sue had which I loved and would lessen the decision making involved, but I needed to compliment the dresses my client would be wearing. So I picked a photo with golden hues as my guide.

Some tutorials I saw used a method where they sprayed down the canvas with water first but I thought "Sue didn’t, so I won’t." I then dug deep into my overloaded brain and remembered that I took a painting class or two. Walmart didn’t have the 9x12 canvas in store, so I ordered one online and had it shipped to my local store for free.  But I did grab my roller brush and tray kit and a really big piece of plastic from the paint section to lay down on my husband’s shop floor for putting the canvas on while painting.

On to Lowe’s for paint! I knew that I wanted a golden center so I started with golden. But how to get the darker shades was what was troubling me. Focus! Breathe. Wait, I took painting classes… class!  One semester…. and Oh yeah, I've painted a wall or two or three and matched the molding color! I started grabbing color cards for the vignette and held them up next to the golden I had chosen to see which shade would match well. 

Going off of how Sue mixed her colors in her video, I got a gallon of flat white, and a quart each of the yellow and a dark brown.  Don’t forget to get the free wooden stir sticks for mixing your colors. For the darkest outer vignette, I bought a tube of black from the artists acrylic paint section at Hobby Lobby.

 Sorry I didn't think to note the exact color name.

Sorry I didn't think to note the exact color name.

I was a little scared to mix the colors, but I thought “just have fun!” So I poured some yellow into the white and mixed until I got what I was looking for.  I had little strips of canvas that I tested it on annnnnnd... success!

I used painters tape to tape down the vertical edges of the canvas onto the plastic because I had seen a portrait somewhere that had a nice “frame” from the original canvas peeking through just an inch or two.

I rolled the golden on the middle and thought “this is going to be easy!” Then I grabbed the brown to add to the middle color until it was dark enough to my liking and rolled it on. Then I added the remainder of my brown and a little black for the outer edge.

But the transition from shade to shade was too harsh!

Honeyyyyyyyy! Poor husband always gets dragged into my I'm-determined-to-do-this-projects. “You need a sponge,” he said. So I remembered the sea sponges I had from college.  I ran into the house and got them. Yaaaay another crisis solved! I grabbed the paint tray and went back to work. Note to self: sea sponges age and fall apart after how many years of non-use? Husband to the rescue again… he went into the house and found a newer large kitchen sponge and brought it to me and lovingly showed me how to maneuver the paint so that it would transition smoothly.

After 6 hours of working on my backdrop, I was happy with the results but my legs were screaming. I hung it up on my background stand the next morning to finish drying and made the bestie pose for an iphone snap. *Please excuse the soft vignetting at top right, it was from a cute but later-discovered-impractical-for-a-photographer phone cover I picked up at trade days.

 *Please excuse the soft vignetting at top right, it was from a cute but later-discovered-impractical-for-a-photographer phone cover I picked up at trade days.

*Please excuse the soft vignetting at top right, it was from a cute but later-discovered-impractical-for-a-photographer phone cover I picked up at trade days.

What I learned from this experience: Paint peels/washes off the skin, but does not come out of shorts.

Buy a roller extension so you can stand up to paint and save yourself from days of pain from getting up and down up and down up and down from your hands and knees. Although the sponge work will still require major squats and crude Yoga poses.  And an Oliphant really is worth saving up for.

 Click image to go to my Portraits album.

Click image to go to my Portraits album.

Abygail was the first client I shot on my handmade background. It turned out lovely!

 

A special thanks to the hubs for all his assistance. He's the greatest guy but the worst subject to get to stand still for a photo!

Spring Forward!

Bella Sol Portraits

Have you noticed how happy the birds are with the arrival of Spring? Or maybe it's just me, happy with the concurrent arrival of new beginnings.

While the birds are bathing in puddles from the recent rains, I'm cleaning out clutter and cobwebs indoors.  Coats of brightly colored fresh paint are going on the walls and on canvases to be used as backdrops for portraits. My dining room and backyard, beautiful enough to be chosen for one past and one future wedding, will be studio space until I am blessed with one in town. For now my clients will have to endure the puddles, the cat and the chirping birds. 

My Life as An Adventure - Part 2

Bella Sol Portraits

My best friend gave me a leather bound gold-leafed journal for Christmas. We didn't exchange gifts until last month but the timing couldn't have been more perfect.  I was doing a Valentine's Day photo shoot for her.  It was about 2 weeks before my very-well-paying-but-killing-me-slowly job ended.  But again, timing.  The journal has a quote on it... "Life is an adventure, write your story."

So I decided to do just that. To save myself and return to me, my truth. To follow my bliss. Write my own story.

So Part 2 begins after closing Part 1 of dirty greasy male dominated professions for the last 10 years. Hi, my name is Carrie Killough and I am a Portrait Photographer and I love pretty lacy shiny things!

2016 is going to be an amazing year... full of new adventures!

Crazy Good Selfies

Bella Sol Portraits

 Pain, without love

Pain, without love

“Jump away from the well-worn path, rebooting your senses and sensibilities with refreshing stimulation. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, then take those feelings and invent with them.

If you’re bored, or angry, dismayed or burned out, you’re not paying attention to the swarm of creative opportunities each moment delivers. Practice a little less self absorption and a lot more self invention.

The moment calls you to invent, and you’re made for it. Be crazy good inventive with big things, little and in between.”  ~ Ralph Marston

What great advice! And my self portraits reflect this idea because my best work happens when I put my heart and soul into it. I give myself permission to honor the feelings I’m having, no matter how difficult they are to deal with. If I don’t honor them, I get stuck and depressed. When I honor them I create fantastic self-portraits. Don’t you agree?

 Let's Fly

Let's Fly